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Chris Ballard: Different isn’t always better, continuity is a good thing

The Colts fell short of the playoffs in 2023, but their response wasn’t to bring in a bunch of new faces in hopes of better results in 2024.

General Manager Chris Ballard’s focus in free agency was on holding onto the team’s players rather than chasing ones from other clubs. Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., linebacker Zaire Franklin, cornerback Kenny Moore, defensive tackle Grover Stewart, punter Rigoberto Sanchez and defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis are among the players who have re-signed with the team and Ballard told reporters at the league meetings on Tuesday “different is not always better” in reference to his approach.

Ballard said that players don’t sit around and wait while teams engage with others during the negotiating window and that teams have to balance knowing what they have in “a bird in the hand” when thinking about pursuing outside additions.

“I think what gets lost is when you lose a player, it creates a void,” Ballard said, via Stephen Holder of ESPN.com. “You lose a Grover Stewart, you lose a Kenny Moore, you lose a Pittman, now you’ve got a real void. Sure, you’ve gone and signed another player at another position, but you’ve created another void. We felt that all our players were legitimate players. They were all coveted. Anytime you can keep continuity in your own players, that’s a good thing.”

Quarterback Anthony Richardson and running back Jonathan Taylor were both on the Colts last season, but they only played in one game together due to injuries so adding them to the group that fell just short of a playoff berth is part of the reason to hope that staying the course will pay dividends in Indianapolis this season.